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2023 Honda Civic Si Coupe and Si Sedan pack turbocharged 205HP
Want a Honda Civic Type R but driving on a budget? Honda thinks it has the answer with the new 2023 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan, two fresh versions of the 10th generation Civic that promise more affordable performance. Set to arrive at dealerships next month, they’ll take on Ford’s Focus RS in the process.
Like the regular Civic hatchback, the new Civic Si Coupe and Civic Si Sedan use Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. Power figures are up from the old Si, though they’re still not going to blow you away. Figure on 205 horsepower and 192 lb-ft. of torque, the latter sustained over a claimed 70-percent of the car’s rev range.
Still, the Civic Si in any of its three forms isn’t really about straight-line acceleration. Instead Honda is playing up the car’s agility and handling, as well as the enthusiast-centric short-throw, 6-speed manual transmission. There’s dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering with variable ratios, adaptive dampers, a helical limited-slip differential, and sport-tuned suspension.
Combined with a “significantly lighter” curb weight than the old Civic Si, this 2023 model should prove even more eager in the corners. Honda has added two driving modes, Normal and Sport; the former should drive a little more like the regular car. Switch to Sport Mode, however, and the suspension damping, steering, and throttle response are all toned up.
As for stopping, there are 12.3-inch front brake rotors and 235/40 R18 tires, wider than the outgoing car. Honda will also offer a performance tire option. The Civic Si actually shares a few components with the Type R: the front upper control arms, for instance, are the same on both cars. Honda also uses stiffer spring rates, significantly more rigid stabilizer bars than in the regular Civic, and solid front and rear compliance bushings.
Of course, for many it’s the aesthetic changes which are most important. The Civic Si Coupe and Sedan both get a black “wing” front fascia featuring larger side air intake features, together with two-tone finish 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels. The Si Sedan gets enlarged side vents and a deck-lid spoiler; the Si Coupe borrows the fill-width light bar from the regular Civic Coupe, and throws in a sizable spoiler of its own.
Inside, there are special sport seats with red contrast stitching and Si logos, exclusive to the two cars. That same stitching continues across the doors, wheel, and leather stick shift boot; the latter is topped with an aluminum grip. Red shows up again in the dashboard lighting, while aluminum appears in the footwell on the sport pedals.
NOW READ: 2023 Honda Civic Hatch First Drive
Sales kick off next month, with the 2023 Civic Si Coupe and Si Sedan expected to start in the mid-$20k point. Given the Civic Type R should come in somewhere in the mid-$30k region, that’s a considerable saving if you can do without the more fiery car’s 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque.
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2023 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT promises coupe handling from luxe sedan
Lexus unveiled its curvaceous new LS 500 luxury sedan earlier in the year, and now the four-door is getting the F SPORT treatment. Revealed for the first time at the New York International Auto Show 2023, the fettled LS gets a more aggressive exterior design, more sporting-themed cabin, and changes to the chassis and more. However, there’s a hiccup if you were hoping for a full BMW M760i or Mercedes AMG S63 Sedan competitor.
On the outside, there’s a new F SPORT grille which Lexus is particularly proud of. That apparently took five months for the computer-aided design team to figure out, given its 7,100 individual surfaces that had to be adjusted so the interplay of light was just so. It’s flanked by enlarged side grilles, while the rocker panel and trunk moldings are also new. F SPORT badging is fairly discreet, unlike the 20-inch alloy wheels. A special Ultra White paint job will be exclusive to the F SPORT.
Step inside, meanwhile, and you’ll find new front seats with extra support. Perforated grille patterning on the leather is joined by scored aluminum trim, and there’s an F SPORT steering wheel. As on the LFA, the speedometer and tachometer are built into a sliding gage that can push to one side so as to display more information.
The accelerator, brake, and footrest get aluminum trim, and there’s an F SPORT shift handle. Ultrasuede appears on the seats and headliner, and Lexus will offer an exclusive Circuit Red interior option on the car. Obviously you still get the same big touchscreen display and other electronic niceties of the regular LS 500.
Unfortunately for those hoping for extra power, Lexus continues its F SPORT trend of upgrading style and handling but not changing the horsepower. Lexus will offer F SPORT versions of both the regular gas and gas-hybrid LS, while the RWD V6TT version will also have the option of an F SPORT Handling Package. Either way, you get a 3.5-liter V6 engine at the core, with the regular LS 500 mustering 415 HP and 442 lb-ft. of torque, and the LS 500h delivering 354 HP altogether with its electric drive, and 258 lb-ft. of torque.
The engineering changes are focused on the chassis and handling. A new Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system tracks movement in all directions and adjusts the braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension settings accordingly. If you have the RWD V6TT with the F SPORT Handling Package, there’s variable gear ratio steering and active rear steering, along with an active stabilizer and air-suspension with rapid-height adjustment. The 20-inch wheels are wrapped with 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tires, and there are larger front and rear brakes: six piston calipers up front, and four at the rear.
Pricing for the 2023 Lexus LS 500 F SPORT will be announced closer to release. The cars should begin appearing at dealerships later this year.
Microsoft may be introducing a Family Pack for Windows 7 Home Premium, with a shared license for three computers in the same household. The license details in the latest build of Windows 7 have the following clause under ‘Installation and Use Rights’: “If you are a ‘Qualified Family Pack User,’ you may install one copy of the software marked as ‘Family Pack’ on three computers in your household for use by people who reside there,” according to ZDNet’s Ed Bott.
That may seem reasonable, but I’m doubtful since I don’t see why Microsoft would feel the need to compete with Apple on boxed software. When you buy a copy of Windows you can throw the OS on almost any computer with enough horsepower, but OS X requires a Mac. Yes, I know all about the Hackintosh community where you install OS X on a Windows machine, but PCs running OS X is not a big enough market to cause Microsoft concern.
Let’s face it, when you buy a boxed copy of OS X, you are installing the OS on a Mac not a Dell. People simply aren’t going into a store and weighing the pros and cons of buying OS X or Windows software. Sure, when it comes to buying a new computer there’s a big rivalry, and in those instances people are weighing the pros and cons of a Mac versus a Windows machine. But when it comes to a software upgrade or fresh install, the type of computer you have at home has already made your software choice for you (unless you’re switching over to a Linux build, of course).
The other problem is a $189 Family Pack undercuts the $199 price tag already established for the standalone version of Windows 7 Home Premium. What are they going to do, have Best Buy interrogate you to make sure you’re really going to use the cheaper Family Pack for one household? What is more likely, in my view, is that anyone who buys a Home Premium edition of Windows 7 will automatically have three licenses, just like with the comparable edition of Microsoft Office 2007.
There would probably be widespread abuse with that pricing model since it would encourage single people and students to split the $199 cost three ways. But then again, that’s a great way to put your new software within reach of almost everyone, and it also gives XP and Vista users a bigger incentive to make the switch to Windows 7. I can imagine a lot of people talking it over and saying, “66 bucks each for the new Windows? Sure, why not?”
Of course there’s also the possibility that Microsoft could pull the Family Pack clause before Windows 7 officially hits store shelves on October 22. But as former PC World editor-in-chief Harry McCracken points out on Technologizer, people have been waiting for a Windows Family Pack for a long time. So the Family Pack in Windows 7 Home Premium Edition is most likely on its way, but how Microsoft will structure Family Pack pricing is anybody’s guess.
Windows 10/11 Feature Experience Pack mystery unveiled
The Feature Experience Pack is installed on every PC with the May 2023 Update and up, including the latest Windows 10 build 19645.
The Windows Feature Experience Pack is a part of the Features on Demand for Windows 10 and Windows Server.
Are you interested in more Windows features? Then the Windows Feature section is for you.
Have you heard the latest stories about Windows 10? Head out to our Windows 10 Hub and you will find much more.
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It seems like if you got the new Windows 10 2004 update, you also got a new Feature Experience Pack.
An app with the exact same name appeared in the Microsoft Store since last year in December and it’s still there but it doesn’t give you anything to work with.
Now, the folks from ZDNet spotted it and also provided a few clues on what’s going on.What is the Windows 10 Feature Experience Pack?
This package is installed on every PC with the May 2023 Update and up, including the latest Windows 10 build 19645.
You can see by yourself by going to Settings, then System and System information and scroll down to Windows specifications. You will see a new item there called Experience.
Although Microsoft didn’t say anything about what it is and what it contains, you can see a reference in the Features on Demand package.Feature Experience Pack mystery lifted
The Windows Feature Experience Pack is a part of the Features on Demand for Windows 10 and Windows Server, as listed in a Microsoft document listing the Available Features on chúng tôi you can see from the caption above, the package is only 44.15MB and it contains Windows Client Shell Components and some features critical to Windows functionality.
Microsoft also added the warning to not remove this package.
The Features on Demand package also includes Internet Explorer, Notepad, the DirectX Configuration Database, Paint, PowerShell ISe, Quick Assist, the Print Management Console, and more.
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2023 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack Review
“What’s with the bee?” An angry insect might not be the most obvious mascot for a 485 horsepower muscle sedan, but the 2023 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack certainly has enough sting to keep the hive happy. And, though it’s not the Hellcat that tops the Charger line-up, kicking off at under $40k makes this particular Dodge a very interesting one indeed.
At a time when most manufacturers are playing with turbochargers, Dodge keeps delivering the huge displacement that traditionalists demand. In the case of the Charger R/T Scat Pack that’s a 6.4-liter V8 HEMI courtesy of the team at SRT, delivering not only all 485 aforementioned horses but a blistering 475 lb-ft. of torque.
Nobody ever accused the Charger of subtlety, but the R/T Scat Pack goes further than most. The dreamy B5 Blue finish is almost as eye-catching as the twin tailpipes are loud, while the smokey 20-inch wheels and huge hood bulge give the car the stance its numbers deserve.
In terms of Dodge’s line-up, it slots in-between the regular Charger R/T and the Charger SRT 392. Compared to the latter, you keep the 8-speed TorqueFlite auto transmission but lose the three-mode suspension, while the Brembo brakes are slightly smaller and use four pistons rather than six, while the wheels slightly narrower.
It’s no less attention-grabbing, mind. I didn’t dare poll them, but I suspect my neighbors quickly came to hate me, given the noise the R/T Scat Pack makes when you hit the starter button. Think along the lines of “angry baritone wildcat meets furious bees’ nest” and you’re on the right track.
Things don’t get much less raucous on the move, either. There’s a fair amount of tire noise, and the engine note is always fairly noticeable, even at highway cruising speeds.
I confess, the Charger came in for some above-average competition during my time with it, given that McLaren had handed me the keys to the astonishing 650S. At getting on for ten times the price of the Dodge, you’d expect the British supercar to be better to the point of superlatives, but the meaty American held its own in many ways.
There’s also the giggle factor, something which comes not from the bee but the bludgeoning of power as the Charger kicks you in the small of the back and rockets you down the road. Spinning the wheels is ridiculously easy to do, but avoid a lead foot and, with some nuance, you can coax all that energy into something more useful.
It’s insanely quick in a straight line – there’s Launch Control if you want to let the computer do its thing – and the 8-speed transmission shifts swiftly and smoothly, whether you leave it to its own devices or yank on the small paddles behind the wheel.
Sport mode is a button-press away, tightening up the throttle response and gear changes, tweaking the traction control, and adjusting the steering. If you’re inclined to fiddle, you can customize some of the settings yourself using the touchscreen in the center stack.
Cornering, meanwhile, demands a little faith. With all those liters under the hood, the Charger is unsurprisingly nose-heavy, but oversteer is predictable and the electronic nannying strikes a nice balance between keeping you safe while also letting you have some fun when it’s appropriate. A dab of extra power is often all it took to bring the RWD Charger back into line.
The brakes may be downgraded compared to the SRT 392, but the compromise doesn’t show. The Charger hauls itself to a halt with the sort of reassuring predictability you really want in a car of this sort.
Something has to give, mind, and that’s generally in interior comfort. Dodge’s dashboard is solid but plasticky, the buttons and controls straightforward if hardly inspiring. My review car had the $1,595 Nappa leather and Alcantara seat upgrade, which also throws in heating and ventilation, heating in the rear, a heated wheel, seat memory, and a few other niceties. Without that, you get black cloth seats.
$695, meanwhile, added navigation to the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, for the most part a solid and intuitive system borrowed from Chrysler’s parts bin. Unfortunately, like the Chrysler 300S I reviewed a few weeks back, it too possesses the most laggardly onscreen keyboard known to humanity.
Forget quickly punching in an address while you’re waiting for the lights to change; in fact, best factor in some time before your journey needs to start, just to allow your blood to cool down from the frustration.
Some of the other fancies I’d got used to in the 300S are also on the options list. Blind-spot and cross-path detection are part of the $595 Driver Confidence Group (which also includes rear-parking assist and heated side mirrors), while if you want adaptive cruise control it’s bundled in with the $1,995 Technology Group.
That also adds automatic high-beam control, collision warning, lane departure and keep-assist, power steering wheel adjustment, and rain-sensing wipers.
They’re nice toys, but I can’t help but feel that most would distract from the Charger R/T Scat Pack’s greatest charm: its raw, unadulterated power. This sort of power and torque really shouldn’t be accessible for such little cash, and even if you don’t have a track to go playing on, the snorting, grunting, gurgling noises the V8 is capable of even at moderate speeds are enough to fix a smile to your face.
That you can fit the family – and their luggage – in there too adds an unexpected degree of practicality.
You have to be okay with compromise to live with the 2023 Charger R/T Scat Pack. Fuel consumption will be high, cruising noise might give passengers a headache, and your neighbors will scrub you from their Christmas card list. Most of the geeky stuff is optional, and there’s a simplicity to the “power + angry style = great” equation that’s aeons away from some of the more respectable sports sedans out there.
Nonetheless, for under $40k you can have a car that’s usable every day but can keep up with exotica several multiples its price. An unapologetic slab of entertainment with enough to keep both purists and newcomers to the muscle car creed happy. And, really, who wants to be respectable all the time?
There is no doubting that our iOS devices are beginning to use even more power than their ever-increasing batteries can provide them. It’s an unfortunate fact that while we continue to crave smaller, thinner and lighter device, something inevitably has to give. In most cases, that thing is battery life.
The iPhone 4S for example isn’t exactly known for its ability to hold a charge. We’ve covered various power-related issues with the iPhone 4S over the months since its release, and alas, things don’t really seem to have improved with subsequent iOS releases. What we need is a way of extending our iPhone’s battery prowess, and the easiest way to do that is to get a battery pack.
One battery pack that we’ve been putting through its paces recently is the SPIGEN SGP F16s battery pack for the iPhone. After a few weeks of living with the F16s and at times very much relying on its ability to keep an iPhone going beyond its usual capacity, we’re finally ready to announce our verdict…
But first, some specs.
The F16s sports a 1620mAh internal battery that is charged via the included USB to Micro-USB cable, and comes in one of three colors: Soul Black, Infinity White or Sherbet Pink. The USB cable does not come with a plug of any description which may irritate some, though I took to simply using one of the umpteen Apple power bricks I have laying around the house. Alternatively you could obviously use a computer to charge the F16s, too.
The device itself features no buttons, and the only moveable part is the dust cap which hides the 30-pin dock connector you will use to charge your iPhone (or iPod touch, for that matter) and makes for a rather fetching little battery.
The F16s features a row of lights which display the amount of power left inside, with each light accounting for 25% of the total power. It’s pretty standard fare, and appears to report accurately from what I’ve seen. The only other part of note is the flap which covers the Micro-USB port.
That USB part, whilst we are at it, is worth a mention. Unusually, the port allows an iPhone to be charged and synced right through the battery pack. We wouldn’t be updating iOS through it, but it is a feature which most of the competition is lacking. The F16s also charges the attached iPhone before charging its own battery, which is pretty neat, too.
In my testing the F16s will achieve around an 80% iPhone 4S charge from a completely dead handset. I’ve had slightly better and slightly worse results, with 80% being the average over the few weeks I have been using the battery pack. I’d obviously love to get another full charge out of the thing, but I would rather an 80% charge than the F16s be any bigger. It’s a compromise that I’m willing to make.
At $69 from the company’s web store, the SPIGEN SGP F16s battery pack does a job, and it does it well. It has proved more than useful for me over the last few weeks, and is something I will be keeping in the car for those times when I just can’t get a full day’s use out of my iPhone 4S without it dying. With that being the case more often than not these days, the F16s is only going to get more and more use.
And that’s just fine with me.
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